There is a lot of competition out there today.
We’re competing with companies thousands of miles away. We’re competing with the shop just down the street. We’re competing with coworkers. We’re competing with friends.
And yet, I am amazed that with so much competition out there how many companies strive to be just like any other.
They don’t strive to be the best. They strive to make money.
While I do accept that a company must make money, I believe that any truly successful company must strive to be the best.
To set themselves apart from the rest.
McDonald’s may not have the best hamburgers (although their fries do rock) they do have the best business model when it comes to restaurants. Their track record proves it.
Donald Trump strives to be the best real estate mogul, and his empire proves he knows what he is doing.
Bill Gates may not be in the news much these days but make no mistake about it, without him, computers wouldn’t be what they are today.
The list is endless, the best companies aren’t just striving to be good, they’re striving to be great.
One thing I notice here in Japan is how little training is given at most English schools to their new teachers.
What many students don’t realize here is that most of their teachers at the local eikaiwa’s (language schools) don’t have a background in education nor have ever taught English before.
A friend of mine once told me that his training at a reasonably well known name in the industry’s training consisted of one single hour-long explanation.
Essentially it boiled down to one single point – do one page in the book in class, do one at home.
He was then told explicitly not go any faster because they’d run out of material to teach the kids.
I was speechless.
In comparison when a friend of mine started hiring teachers he gave them a four-hour training session, homework to help familiarize themselves with the material and system they used, a few sit-ins so they could observe and take notes, and finally numerous tips from watching them teach.
I once asked him how much time he spent with each teacher and his reply was anywhere from 24 to 40 hours.
On top of that he would give them tips on a regular basis to help them improve.
Why? Because he demanded the best out of the people he works with. I clearly remember him saying to me, “Why should I expect anything less?”
He went on to say that he doesn’t expect perfection but he wants to know that the people that work for him are giving it all they’ve got. And I suppose that’s all we can ever ask for of anyone.
Two schools, two very different ways of running them.
I’ll let you figure out which one continually struggles with turnover and attrition.
One lesson I have learned over the past 15 years is that a business is only as good as the people in it. And especially the people running it.
Time and time again I’ve seen companies fail due to poor leadership.
And every time I’ve come across a success story it’s always because they set a goal to be among the best in their niche.
That’s why I study each day, that’s why I write, that’s why I share ideas because I want to be one of those people in the winning group.
Which group do you want to be in?